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Christmas and your pets

christmas dog

christmas dogTo start, are poinsettias poisonous to cats?

During the holiday season many pet owners like to decorate their houses with the beautiful red flowering Christmas plant… the poinsettia. However, according to poison control centers the poinsettia IS mildly poisonous to cats AND DOGS! The milky white sap from the plants contains chemicals that can cause mild vomiting, excessive drooling, and sometimes diarrhea in our four legged friends. Unfortunately, there is no antidote to the poison in a poinsettia. No reason to worry, according to sources the low level of toxicity of the plant rarely requires medical treatment.

Chewing Christmas light? Will my puppy get shocked?

In a short answer….YES. Please keep all pets away from Christmas lights and always watch your children as well. If you notice that you have a string of lights that has been chewed you are going to want to replace that set of lights to prevent a fire or shock to you or your pets.

Thanks for reading and as always make sure that your pets have updated pet id tags!

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Hardest Decisions

old dog

old dogIf you have been caring for a sick or very old pet, the choice of putting them down may have come up or be in your near future. This is never a easy decision. Losing a member of your family is never something anyone wants to face. When considering euthanasia ask yourselves these questions:

Can your pet still be a pet?

Can they still do the activities that they love?

Are they able to “do their business” on their own?

Do they stand and move around, or spend most of their time in one spot?

Has there been dramatic weight loss that can’t be changed, even with a good appetite?

Do they avoid others or hide when they would usually not?

Do they have a condition that can no longer be treated due to severity or cost to you?

Do you just feel as though they are unhappy and miserable all the time?

If you have asked yourself these questions, and found the answers unfavorable, you may need to seriously consider putting down your animal. It’s never an easy thing, and in the end it is really up to you, the owner. If your pet can live the remainder is his life comfortably, then by all means don’t do it. If you’re watching your beloved pet suffer daily, perhaps ending his misery is a better choice. Talk to your vet as this is never a decision to be entered into lightly. God bless you and your pet, and may he be with you during this difficult time.

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Safe Dog Chews

kong toy chew

kong toy chewIf your dog is the type that likes to chew (most dogs do) you might be wondering what chew toys, rawhides, ect, would be a safe option for your pet. After talking to a vet and doing a little research on the subject, here is what I have found.

Most vets recommend that you stay away from rawhides, pig ears, pig hooves, deer antlers, sterilized marrow bones, and bully sticks. These can lead to an intestinal blockage in some (some, not all) dogs.

When deciding what type of chew toy you need to know if your dog gulps things down, this means, even if the chew toy is strong, your pet could potentially swallow pieces too large to pass through his system. Dog stomach acid is much stronger than ours and can digest a lot, but not everything.

If you choose to go with a rawhide, the most recommended type is C.E.T. Hextra Dog Chews. They contain chlorhexidine, which is an oral antiseptic and can help control dental disease. They are also must less likely to cause intestinal issues.

Kong Toys seem to be the most recommended chew toy. It comes in many different colors, sizes, shapes, and strength. You can get ones the hold treats, food, or even ones that you fill with water and freeze. These will keep your dog happy for hours. Just be sure you get a strength that is not too hard or soft for your pet.

There are other brands that may not satisfy the need to chew but are great for cleaning his teeth. If your pet doesn’t really chew but likes to play, that might be a better option as Kongs can get expensive.

Another option is C.E.T. VeggieDent chew treats. They are like a cross between Greenies and Listerine. They are usually consumed quickly so you are not something you want to give your pet often. They are great to freshen breath and clean your pet’s teeth.

There was a lot of warning for sterilized marrow bones. They are the most common cause of slab fractures in your dog’s teeth.

The best thing you can do is know your pet, ask your vet for ideas, and watch them to make sure you made the right choice for them. Happy chewing!

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Controlling Cats and Clawing

Cat with claws out

One of the hardest things to do is train your cat. However, most of the time, it can be done. Here are a couple tips I have learned to help control and “train” your cat. As much as they allow you to train them. The great thing about cats is they defiantly have personality, although part of that personality can often be stubbornness. If you are taking on this project I wish you luck and hope these tips work for you as they have for me.

One thing you can do when a cat is doing something you don’t want them to, is make a hissing sound and sort of run at them. This is startle them. Another thing you can do is buy a spray bottle and spray them while making a hissing sound when they are doing something you don’t want to do. Of course this only works if your cat is typical and does not like water. If you already noticed the pattern it is the hissing sound. I’ve learned by combining these 3 in random patterns I can get my cats to stop doing pretty much anything at this point by simply making the hissing sound, the rest is no longer required.

Although the above tricks are things that work for me and should work for you, sometimes you just cannot help having to do slightly meaner things to get them to cooperate. They do make a pad that will send an uncomfortable but not hurtful shock through kitty if they climb on something you don’t want them on or in. Something else that is now made, is a low voltage shock collar that has a button you can push to again stop them from doing whatever they were not supposed to be doing.

Hopefully you will try the less harsh treatments first before submitting your animal to anything unpleasant. Whatever you do, best of luck and I hope you found some working ideas from my efforts. It is also very important for your cats to be wearing pet tags in case the are lost.

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The expense of having pets

Doggy with cash in mouth

One of the hardest things about having a pet is the expense. Going to the vet can use up a huge chunk of your bank account. Taking your pet to the vet and keeping them well is a necessity. Having two animals myself that require extra care I can give you a couple tips on how to keep taking good care of your pets without dropping mass amounts of money a couple times a year.

Call around to your local vets and ask them about pricing. For example: How much are x-rays or tests. What one vet charges $130 for another will charge $60.

Every time you go in be sure to ask for a quote or estimate on everything they are going to do. I was once asked if they could keep my cat for a couple hours to get a urine sample and when I went to pick her up I ended up paying an $18 boarding fee and $40 for IV sedation on top of the amount I was already paying for testing, and the office visit. The vet never told me it would cost to keep her and never called to ask if they could sedate her.

Never feel like you have to do every test or exam the vet wants. I had a vet that wanted us to take our animals in once a year no matter what for a “wellness exam”. While this sounds nice and all its $40 each time, plus if I failed to go and took an animal in for something else, all of a sudden I would be getting a charge for a “wellness exam” that I never gave permission for. Be firm that your only paying for what you gave permission for.

Do not be afraid to question your vet or call another office for a second opinion. I do not know how many times I would’ve saved hundreds of dollars if I just would’ve gotten ALL the information I needed.

I hope some of you will find this information useful. I’m not going to lie I am a strong believer in “you get what you pay for”. However I am also a believer that you can only say that if you KNOW what you are paying for. So don’t be afraid to ask questions or demand answers. Your pets are important and you cannot take care of them for life if you run out of money to do so. Your cheapest expense is likely to be your purchase of pet id tags for your pets. Pet tags are an essential tool in helping your pets return home if they are ever lost. It is extremely important to make sure that the information on the pet tags is updated if you move or your phone number changes.

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Even More Pet Facts

Cute Puppy

The Canary Islands were not named for a bird called a canary. They were named after a breed of large dogs. The Latin name was Canariae insulae – “Island of Dogs.”

The first seeing-eye dog was presented to a blind person on April 25, 1938

The phrase “raining cats and dogs” originated in 17th Century England. During heavy downpours of rain, many of these poor animals unfortunately drowned and their bodies would be seen floating in the rain torrents that raced through the streets. The situation gave the appearance that it had literally rained “cats and dogs” and led to the current expression

The term “dog days” has nothing to do with dogs. It dates back to Roman times, when it was believed that Sirius, the Dog Star, added its heat to that of the sun from July3 to August 11, creating exceptionally high temperatures. The Romans called the period dies caniculares, or “days of the dog

Overnight Pet Tags is the industry leader in top quality pet id tags

There are 701 types of pure breed dogs

Though human noses have an impressive 5 million olfactory cells with which to smell, sheepdogs have 220 million, enabling them to smell 44 times better than man.

Using their swiveling ears like radar dishes, experiments have shown that dogs can locate the source of a sound in 6/100ths of a second

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More Pet Facts

Dog with glasses

Dogs can hear sounds that are too faint for us to hear, and also can hear noises at a much higher frequency than we can. Their hearing is so good that they probably rely more on sound than on sight to navigate their world

Dogs have far fewer taste buds than people — probably fewer than 2,000. It is the smell that initially attracts them to a particular food

Dogs may not have as many taste buds as we do (they have about 1,700 on their tongues, while we humans have about 9,000), but that doesn’t mean they’re not discriminating eaters. They have over 200 million scent receptors in their noses (we have only 5 million) so it’s important that their food smells good as well as tastes good

Dogs in monuments: The dog is placed at the feet of women in monuments to symbolize affection and fidelity, as a lion is placed at the feet of men to signify courage and magnanimity. Many of the Crusaders are represented with their feet on a dog, to show that they followed the standard of the Lord as faithfully as a dog follows the footsteps of his master

Every year, $1.5 billion is spent on pet food. This is four times the amount spent on baby food

French poodles did not originate in France. Poodles were originally used as hunting dogs in Europe. The dogs’ thick coats were a hindrance in water and thick brush, so hunters sheared the hindquarters, with cuffs left around the ankles and hips to protect against rheumatism. Each hunter marked his dogs’ heads with a ribbon of his own color, allowing groups of hunters to tell their dogs apart

It has been established that people who own pets live longer, have less stress, and have fewer heart attacks

Scientists have discovered that dogs can smell the presence of autism in children

‘Seizure Alert’ dogs can alert their owners up to an hour before the onset of an epileptic seizure

Seventy percent of people sign their pet’s name on greeting cards and 58 percent include their pets in family and holiday portraits, according to a survey done by the American Animal Hospital Association

Some 39 percent of pet owners say they have more photos of their pet than of their spouse or significant other. Only 21 percent say they have more photos of their spouse or significant other than of their pet.

90% of pets lost that are wearing pet id tags are returned to their owners.

Check back next week for more pet facts!

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Pet Facts

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Pet Facts

 

A dog’s whiskers are touch-sensitive hairs called vibrissae. They are found on the muzzle, above the eyes and below the jaws, and can actually sense tiny changes in airflow!

An American Animal Hospital Association poll showed that 33 percent of dog owners admit that they talk to their dogs on the phone or leave messages on an answering machine while away.

An estimated 1 million dogs in the United States have been named the primary beneficiary in their owner’s will

At the end of the Beatles’ song “A Day in the Life”, an ultrasonic whistle, audible only to dogs, was recorded by Paul McCartney for his Shetland sheepdog

Before the enactment of the 1978 law that made it mandatory for dog owners in New York City to clean up after their pets, approximately 40 million pounds of dog excrement were deposited on the streets every year

Cats have better memories than dogs. Tests conducted by the University of Michigan concluded that while a dogs memory lasts no more than 5 minutes, a cat’s can last as long as 16 hours – exceeding even that of monkeys and orangutans

Cats have more than one hundred vocal sounds, while dogs only have about ten

Cats, not dogs, are the most common pets in America. There are approximately 66 million cats to 58 million dogs, with Parakeets a distant third at 14 million

Dogs are mentioned 14 times in the Bible

Pet Tags are the cheapest way to protect your pets

Check back in a few days for even more pet facts!!

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Pet Insurance

Veterinarian Petting Dog

I have noticed that owning pets can become costly. If you are a pet owner this is something you have no doubt noticed as well. Especially if your pet has some sort of medical problem. What a lot of pet owners do not have, is pet insurance. While I am sure you have heard about it, most people have never looked into the cost and benefits of having it. I have done some research and this is what I have discovered. Now obviously, if you only need to take your pet in once a year and occasionally for a small problem here or there, there is no need for this added expense.

 

However, if your pet needs costly medication, yearly blood work, and x-rays on top of that yearly appointment, pet insurance is defiantly something you should look into. I have found you can usually find a basic plan for one animal at around $25-$30 per month. So all together we are talking around $300-360 a year. Most of the plans you can find will cover basic exams, 2 per year blood work, and most vaccines as well as heartworm tests ect. Some have a deductible and some do not. If you do the research you can find a company with a plan that is suitable for you. To some people spending $360 a year may sound like way too much money for an animal. On the other hand once you have added up the cost of office visits, blood tests, medication and all the other expenses $360 may not sound so bad.

 

Really in the end it’s up to you to make the best decision for you and your pet.  And as always,  make sure your pets are wearing Pet ID Tags.

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Pets and Vacations

dog with suitcase

dog with suitcase

When it comes time to take a vacation, the decision must be made, to take the furry members of your family or leave them? Here are some tips for both choices to keep your vacations fun, and your pets happy.

Leaving your pets at home

If you decide to vacation without your pet, here are some things to think about. If you want to go the route of a kennel, be sure to check into how the kennel is run so you know how your pet will be treated. Do they have beds for your pet, or do they sleep on concrete floors? Do they have yard time? Are they given attention from the people working there? Do they charge extra for administering medication? What is the feeding schedule? Asking these questions and more will ensure a pleasant stay for your pet, and less anxiety for you.

Another option would be to check into “pet sitters”. This is a surprisingly inexpensive and very convenient option. You have to be ok with someone in your home with you not there. This option is usually easier for pets and great for pets with anxiety issues. In my area the cost for three, thirty minute visits a day, including giving meds and grabbing the mail, comes to the same as a stay at my local kennel. Pet sitters will usually take your pets for walks, feed them, and give them plenty of one on one time. Most will offer shorter visits if you’re on a tighter budget. A big plus is your pet feels at home because he is at home.

Taking your pet along

By Air or Sea: Be sure to do the research to find out if your accommodations in fact, allow for pets. If you are leaving the country, find out if your pet needs a “pet passport”. (It is in fact a real thing). Also check to see what immunizations your pet will need. Be sure to check in to rules and regulations for flying with your pet as well.

Traveling by Car: Be sure to plan out stops along the way, where it is safe for your pet to stretch his legs and relieve himself. This will help get rid of pent up energy your pet may have from being trapped in a small space. If it is going to be a particularly long trip, make sure you have prior arrangements for sleeping and eating for your pet as well.

Always be sure check with campgrounds you may stay at, or city you are staying in to find out the leash rules or if there are certain areas designated for walking your pet. Make sure your pet has a collar on at all times, and of course, Pet ID Tag with information to reach you. A simple name and phone number is best. Doing the preparation and research before hand, can go a long way toward ensuring a safe, happy journey for you and your furry family member.